, a navigation device manufacturer, has made an unsolicited offer for digital map provider Tele Atlas N.V., a Dutch company engaged in the development, production and sale of digital map data and dynamic content, for 24.50 euros per share (€2.3 billion or $3.3 billion).
This was unexpected, as Tele Atlas had previously been in acquisition discussions with TomTom NV for 21.25 euros per share. Net of the cash on Tele Atlas' balance sheet, Garmin's offer is worth about 2.1 billion euros and TomTom's is worth 1.8 billion euros.
The leadership role in the rapidly growing navigation devices industry has been up for grabs and a showdown had been anticipated after mobile telephone manufacturer, Nokia, engineered an $8.1 billion takeover of NAVTEQ Corporation, a U.S. provider of digital map information for automotive navigation systems, mobile navigation devices and Internet-based mapping applications. NAVTEQ was Tele Atlas’s main competitor.
Garmin indicated that it would launch its official offer by December 4th, the day that TomTom’s prior offer for Tele Atlas expires, with Garmin’s offer conditional on Tele Atlas tendering at least 66.67 percent of its shares. Analysts have indicated that TomTom could bid higher for Tele Atlas, as its shares could be worth as much as 30 euros per share, but it would cost TomTom millions; they have also indicated that TomTom made a strategic error not to bid on Tele Atlas when its shares were well below their current price.
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